Review Summary: A fun and effective full-length effort from Night Riots.
Night Riots have been around for some time now but after years of releasing EPs and singles, they've finally decided to put out a full-length LP with "Love Gloom". These guys have always had a retro-inspired sound, calling back to the likes of Depeche Mode and The Cure. Singer Travis Hawley has been compared to Robert Smith and it's not hard to hear why. His impassioned vocals are a constant bright spot on this record. Another thing to love about this group is their ability to surprise you. An infectious chorus can come out of nowhere and evolving instrumental arrangements keep you on your toes.
Songs like "Fangs" and "Contagious" can grip your attention and maintain that hold for days. Night Riots know how to craft hooks that sink deep into your consciousness. Their classic influences combined with their modern sensibilities on tracks like "Nothing Personal" and "Don't Kill The Messenger" make for delightfully suave performances. It really sounds like the band is having a ton of fun on these songs and that sense of joy often gets transferred to the listener.
While the vocals are constantly impressive, the lyrics can be less than remarkable in spots. Sometimes the writing can be a bit too on the nose and unoriginal. Luckily, the charming vocal delivery makes some of these missteps more forgivable. "Breaking Free" and "Work It" paint simple pictures on a worn out canvas but they're still effective songs thanks to great performances all around.
Whether upbeat or melancholy, these guys can deliver solid material. Unfortunately, this album can feel very top heavy. Much of the energy on this release can be found in the first half of the tracklist. The second half can feel like a bit of a drag when songs like "End of the World" and album closer "As You Are" cover ground that has already been covered more effectively earlier on the record. It might have been wise to spread the intensity more evenly throughout the experience.
Still, there's not a bad song to be found here. Some of the later material can be underwhelming when compared to the rest of the work on display here but it's a largely impressive first effort. It contains plenty of confident strides as well as sentimental howling that just might bring you back to the edge of the deep green sea. Mostly though... it's just a lot of fun.
- Nothing Personal
- Don't Kill The Messenger
- Everything Will Be Alright